Tag:Luke Kuechly
Posted on: February 27, 2012 2:13 pm
Edited on: February 27, 2012 4:52 pm
 

Kuechly shows off athleticism with 4.5 40

Tackling machine. Great instincts. Field general. Luke Kuechly already had all the buzz words typically attributed to the top inside linebacker prospect in every draft.

But few people touted his outstanding athleticism - until Monday, when the former Boston College standout ran a blistering 4.50 unofficial 40, which would tie Robert McCune for the top time since 2000 by an inside linebacker.  (40-yard dash results). He also led the inside linebackers with a 38-inch vertical jump.

The "official" 40 time will likely be adjusted down a bit, but that won't affect the bottom line. With that type of speed, and noted instincts in coverage, Kuechly has shown the ability to be a three-down linebacker in the NFL who can hold his own in coverage against running backs and the growing list of freakishly athletic tight ends.

That's exactly while Kuechly is a virtual lock for the first round despite playing at a position that has lot a lot of draft value in recent years. A source told NFLDraftScout.com last week that Kuechly, who posted 532 tackles in just three college seasons, might be the "safest" player in this draft.

Alabama's Dont'a Hightower enjoyed a strong workout himself, posting a pair of unofficial 4.62 40 times at 265 pounds.

UPDATE: We've noted several times during the Combine that none of the 40 times are technically official, and Kuechly finished the day with four different 40 clockings. His second run was clocked in 4.78 by a handheld time after he appeared to get a slow start. He was then asked to run a third time, which was timed at 4.59. So what time is he now listed with? 4.58. At the end of the day, throw out the 4.78 and know that Kuechly runs in the 4.5-4.6 range, which serve the purpose of proving his athleticism.

Posted on: February 18, 2012 11:37 am
 

Why wait? Kuechly doing everything at Combine

The unfortunate reality about the Scouting Combine is that too many of the elite prospects choose not to work out in Indianapolis but instead wait until their Pro Day. 

Boston College's Luke Kuechly -- the consensus top rated inside linebacker in the 2012 draft and reigning Butkus, Nagurski, Lombardi and LOTT Impact Trophy award winner -- told me that he certainly won't be passing up on the opportunity to compete. 

"Yes, I'll be doing everything at the Combine. I'm looking forward to it," Kuechy told me in a phone interview this week. 

Kuechly has been hard at work at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida preparing for the work out since shortly after his January 6 announcement that he'd be bypassing his senior season and heading to the NFL. 

Kuechly is one of 33 NFL hopefuls training in Bradenton. With him are several other potential first round prospects, including Georgia offensive lineman Cordy Glenn, Wisconsin offensive lineman Peter Konz and Rutgers wide receiver Mohamed Sanu.  Kuechly elected to attend IMG partially due to recommendations from two former BC standouts who trained there last year -- offensive tackle Anthony Castonzo (the Indianapolis Colts' first round pick last April) and outside linebacker Mark Herzlich (New York Giants).  

The Boston College product told me that he's primarily been working on speed and explosiveness drills in preparation for the Combine and is currently measuring in at 6-3 and 240 pounds. 

Kuechly currently ranks No. 19 overall on my personal player rankings for the 2012 draft. He seems an obvious candidate for the Philadelphia Eagles considering their woes at middle linebacker and is projected by Dane Brugler and I to be the Eagles' choice with the No. 15 overall pick.


    Luke Kuechly working the bags in preparation for the 2012 Scouting Combine. Photo courtesy of IMG  
Posted on: January 7, 2012 6:32 pm
 

B.C.'s Kuechly bolting for NFL

Luke Kuechly, the top-rated inside linebacker and No. 18 overall prospect for the 2012 draft by NFLDraftScout.com, will forgo his senior year of eligibility, Boston College confirmed.

The 2011 Butkus, Lombardi and Lott IMPACT Trophy award winner led the nation in tackles each of the past two seasons and leaves the Eagles as the school and ACC career leader with 532 tackles in just three seasons.

Not considered an elite athlete in terms of testing results, Kuechly is known as a tackling machine. He is an excellent fit as a middle linebacker in a 4-3 scheme and has been compared to the Rams' James Laurinaitis.  

Kuechly is an intelligent player who possesses great instincts for the game, and he is constantly around the ball between the tackles. While he lacks elite speed, Kuechly has shown he can make plays sideline to sideline as he takes avantage of angles to track down ballcarriers.

While coverage isn't his best asset, Kuechly does take good drops and puts himself in good position.

But his calling card is his secure tackling. He simply rips off blocks and has a nose to find the football.   
Posted on: December 11, 2011 11:47 pm
Edited on: January 6, 2012 3:49 pm
 

Report: Notre Dame ILB Te'o to return for 2012

Many NFL teams needing help at linebacker will wake up Monday morning to discover that one of the few potential first round prospects is passing up his chance at the NFL to return for his senior season.

According to a report from the Chicago Tribune, Notre Dame junior inside linebacker Manti Te'o announced Sunday at the Lott IMPACT Trophy Awards that he'll be playing for Notre Dame in 2012. Brian Hamilton's article also notes that Notre Dame has confirmed the news.

Te'o was rated behind only another junior -- Boston College's Luke Kuechly -- on NFLDraftScout.com's rankings of inside linebackers potentially available for the 2012 draft. Audie Cole from North Carolina State is the highest rated senior at the position but is currently graded as a 3rd round prospect and NFLDraftScout.com's No. 87 rated player. By comparison, Te'o is rated No. 27, overall. 

The 6-2, 255 pound Te'o signed with Notre Dame as one of the highest decorated prep prospects in the country. He proved an immediate difference-maker for the Irish and had steadily improved his stock throughout his career. Te'o was voted a finalist for the Butkus Award this year after leading the Irish in tackles (113), tackles for loss (13) and sacks (4.5). The junior still has the upcoming Champs Sports Bowl against Florida State December 29 to top the career-high 133 tackles he posted last  year -- the highest total from a Notre Dame player since 1983 (Tony Furjanic).

Te'o certainly has the build scouts are looking for at the mike position and he has ucommon speed for his size, as well. While he's not necessarily the thumper his size would lead you to believe, Te'o locates the ball quickly and is a reliable tackler. He has the athleticism and awareness for coverage and has some natural pass rush skills, as well. As such, scouts from 4-3 and 3-4 teams, alike, were intrigued by the Notre Dame linebacker.

One team that could be particularly disappointed to see Te'o return to Notre Dame might be the Buffalo Bills. The Bills' struggles to stop the run this season is one reason I had previously projected Buffalo to select Te'o in my latest first round mock draft.

Instead it appears that Notre Dame's Brian Kelly will be the coach boasting this difference-making linebacker next season.

Posted on: November 30, 2010 12:28 am
 

AFCA All-American Team Announced

As an NFL draft analyst, I'm not always a big fan of All-American teams. All too often, members of the media voting on these awards concentrate solely on statistics or players from national title contending teams.

For this reason, the All-American team I've traditionally found to be the fairest is the one annually produced by the AFCA -- the American Football Coaches' Association.

As the article from the official AFCA website notes , coaches have been compiling this list since 1945.

2010 AFCA Coaches’ All-America Team
Offense
Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)
WR Justin Blackmon 6-1 205 So. Oklahoma St. Mike Gundy Ardmore, Okla. (Plainview)
WR Alshon Jeffery 6-4 233 So. South Carolina Steve Spurrier St. Matthews, S.C. (Calhoun County)
TE Lance Kendricks 6-4 241 Sr. Wisconsin Bret Bielema Milwaukee, Wis. (Rufus King)
OL Lee Ziemba 6-8 319 Sr. Auburn Gene Chizik Rogers, Ark. (Rogers)
OL Rodney Hudson 6-2 282 Sr. Florida St. Jimbo Fisher Mobile, Ala. (B.C. Rain)
C Chase Beeler 6-3 285 Sr. Stanford Jim Harbaugh Jenks, Okla. (Jenks)
OL Stefen Wisniewski 6-3 306 Sr. Penn St. Joe Paterno Bridgeville, Pa. (Pittsburgh Central Catholic)
OL Gabe Carimi 6-7 327 Sr. Wisconsin Bret Bielema Cottage Grove, Wis. (Monona Grove)
QB Cam Newton 6-6 250 Jr. Auburn Gene Chizik College Park, Ga. (Banneker)
RB Kendall Hunter 5-8 200 Sr. Oklahoma St. Mike Gundy Tyler, Texas (John Tyler)
RB LaMichael James 5-9 185 So. Oregon Chip Kelly Texarkana, Texas (Liberty-Eylau)

Defense
Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)
DL Da’Quan Bowers 6-4 275 Jr. Clemson Dabo Swinney Bamberg, S.C. (Ehrhardt)
DL Adrian Clayborn 6-4 285 Sr. Iowa Kirk Ferentz St. Louis, Mo. (Webster Groves)
DL Jabaal Sheard 6-4 260 Sr. Pittsburgh Dave Wannstedt Hollywood Hills, Fla. (Hollywood Hills)
DL Ryan Kerrigan 6-4 263 Sr. Purdue Danny Hope Muncie, Ind. (Central)
LB Luke Kuechly 6-3 235 So. Boston College Frank Spaziani Cincinnati, Ohio (St. Xavier)
LB Greg Jones* 6-1 240 Sr. Michigan St. Mark Dantonio Cincinnati, Ohio (Archbishop Moeller)
LB Tank Carder 6-3 237 Jr. TCU Gary Patterson Sweeny, Texas (Sweeny)
DB Reggie Rembert 5-8 185 Sr. Air Force Troy Calhoun Flower Mound, Texas (Flower Mound)
DB Patrick Peterson 6-1 222 Jr. LSU Les Miles Pompano Beach, Fla. (Ely)
DB Prince Amukamara 6-1 205 Sr. Nebraska Bo Pelini Glendale, Ariz. (Apollo)
DB Quinton Carter 6-1 200 Sr. Oklahoma Bob Stoops Las Vegas, Nev. (Cheyenne)

Specialists
Pos. Name Ht. Wt. Cl. School Coach Hometown (High School)
P Kyle Martens 6-6 200 Jr. Rice David Bailiff Spearfish, S.D. (Spearfish)
PK Will Snyderwine 5-11 190 Jr. Duke David Cutcliffe Potomac, Md. (Landon School)
AP Owen Marecic 6-1 244 Sr. Stanford Jim Harbaugh Tigard, Ore. (Jesuit)


 
 
 
 
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